Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Death Schedule

Masters of Doom is one of the best things I've ever read.

I can't remember how I originally got my copy, I think someone must have bought it for me as some kind of gift.

They could never have realized that, all these years later, it would still be the compass that guides me through so much uncertainty. It's the book that coined the phrase, The Death Schedule.

Carmack and Romero both use it at different points in their careers to describe frantic all night sessions of work to finish a huge sprawling task. Every description of one of these marathons is charged by the notion that striving to achieve is so colossal, that a lack of sleep/food/light are mere distractions.

I like to think of times where I've slogged on for hours to complete something I've been massively motivated and excited to finish such as a piece of writing, the Mag'har grind or Ghosts n Goblins. There's always a sense of bleary eyed adrenaline as you push harder towards the finish line because every single motion you take, brings something intangible closer. Afterwards, usually after a day of catching up on sleep, the magnitude of achievement really sets in.

The next six weeks will see me work five mma shows in a variety of different countries and it's already all I can think about.

That's the key. You put yourself through such a torturous physical schedule because you love what you do. That's why it's not like any other deadline that you get at work; ticking boxes for the comfortably middle class. Whatever you do is driven by the fact that you want to be the best at it. Why not you? Why not me? Why can't we find something that we're the best at? It's not even for the sense of self gratification or bragging rights. It's so, if only for a moment, the face we see staring back has no questions; no what ifs or if onlys.

If you don't love what you do then keeping to a horrific schedule will break you eventually. It's human nature.   If what you wreck yourself for is a passion then your body and mind will find ways to cope. You'll walk in to work and listlessly gaze at walls while being addressed, grab lifts home and fall asleep in traffic and often lose yourself completely mid sentence.

These are the after effects of any schedule but the difference between passion and necessity is scars become badges. We proudly display the effects of sleep deprivation, crippling jet lag, time away from loved ones and what seems like a life time of traveling for all to see. This is who we are. We do what we have to do to allows us the things that really make us happy.

I'll speak to you good people soon I hope
Take care

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